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Tuesday 12th October 2021Blog from the Edge - 15

Alison’s Blog from the Edge- 15 relates our latest explorations of the island and some new discoveries.


Poncha, Potatoes and Pool - Life in Madeira


This last lovely week was spent seeing Madeira anew with family again.  Suffice to say, my niece Emily has left already planning her next visit with her friends, and mapping out Levada walks and hikes!


We had one gentle meandering day walking the streets of Funchal, and then Emily (plus her parents and Paul and I) took the obligatory cable car up to Monte and raced down via the toboggan. On another day, we went out on a little boat, aiming to land on the secluded beach of Calhau da Lapa (the only access). Sadly, the sea was too choppy (I had already slipped getting on and bruised my thigh 😳) but we enjoyed sailing along the coast and had a swimming stop later for those who dared! 


A very memorable day was a trip out with Paulo, who took us around the north and east of the island, visiting Cabo Girao glass viewpoint (the highest in Europe) then down to pretty Camara de Lobos (famous for the Churchill connection).  Next, we travelled high through Curral das Freitas - or Nuns’ Valley: nuns took refuge there during the French privateer attacks from 1492-7.  From there we went on to the highest point on the island - Mount Pico at 2351m. The weather was perfect so we got stunning photos! We dropped down a little to Santana and had a lovely meal: we girls had the local Scabbard fish (found only in Madeira) with banana - delicious 😋! We all continued on around Sao Vicente, Ponta Delgado and finished at a local Poncha bar at the top end of Ribeira Brava - a long but unforgettable day!


Gilbert, our taxi driver, picked us up one night from Ribeira Brava then stopped at his home in Tabua on the way home and persuaded Paul to go in with him. They arrived back in the taxi with two huge bags of potatoes - they’d just dug them up from Gilbert’s potato patch in a cave in the dark! Gilbert then took us higher up to a little isolated Poncha bar, probably just frequented by locals - it had a real feeling of the ‘Wild West’ to it🤣


My sister’s pool was a big draw for us all - the weather was glorious all week. At this time of year it starts to get a bit mixed and cooler.  We had a fantastic last evening meal at Muralha’s in Ribeira Brava, accompanied by a stunning sunset.


Our next visitors could well be my daughter and family again for school half term week (at the end of this month) but flights have rocketed in price. It’s so unfair that airlines do this! If they do arrive, I’ll be blogging about it! Thank you for the lovely feedback for my earlier blogs.

Posted on October 12th 2021 on 01:02pm


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